University of Manitoba students can choose ‘pass/fail’ amid COVID-19

The University of Manitoba is giving students a pair of options if they’re unhappy with their grades for courses ending in April 2020, due to difficulties surrounding COVID-19.

In a press release, the University of Manitoba Students’ Union (UMSU) says all students, except those in the Faculty of Law, can choose to receive a “pass” grade if they were to receive a “D” or higher.

It says for each course taken during the term, students have two options: accept the letter grade but have it excluded from GPA calculations, or choose the pass/fail designation; a “pass” will be excluded from GPA calculations.

A separate motion passed by the University Senate Thursday ensures any failing grade received by a student in the Winter 2020 term will be excluded from GPA calculations, however, it will still stand for some admission purposes.

Students can also choose to take no action, let their assigned letter grade stand, and it will be used in their GPA calculations.

UMSU also notes some courses require a certain grade in order to advance, and since “pass” has no letter equivalent, students will want to pay close attention to which option they choose.

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Sarah Bonner-Proulx, UMSU’s vice president of advocacy, says they’re trying to make the policy as airtight and clear as possible, given that it could have implications for a student’s degree down the line.

“We’re encouraging students to look into that and if they are unsure, reach out to their advisers or faculty, that’s the big take-home message,” Bonner-Proulx says.

According to the students’ union, all final grades are due by the end of April, but students have been given until May 10 to contact the university registrar’s office to indicate which changes they want to make.

The window is intended to allow students to assess admission or graduation requirements before making a decision.

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